Tonight, the sun set at 9.10 pm here in Seattle. It will rise at 5.11 am.
I see our pitch black night length here at the summer solstice point is only 1 hr 43 mins, if one takes out all the kinds of twilight.
It’s been more than three years since the Capitol Hill light rail train station here in my neighborhood opened (March 2016).
The construction of apartment buildings on the surrounding open plots of land will finally start. There was a little ceremony on Tuesday, with a few farmers’ market vendors on hand, and displays of the proposed construction, as well as the expansion plans for the light rail.
Some future stations were marked ‘service starts in 2036’ and ‘service starts in 2041’. Whoah. Where will the world be, and what will the world look like, then?
(I added the question mark just before posting. I should have left it as a statement of fact). Former First Lady Laura Bush in a Washington Post op-ed: images of children being detained in a converted Walmart and a tent city are ‘eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history’. (Note: It took decades for the United States government to admit that policy was wrong).
Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had the gall today to play dumb & deny that separation of young kids from their parents amounts to a form of child abuse.
Tue 6/19: And on Tuesday, Nielsen was seen in the back of a Mexican restaurant in Washington D.C. She and her security detail had to leave 10 minutes later, amid shouts of Shame! and End family separation!
*’Lock her up!’ (Hillary Clinton) was a favorite chant of the Trump supporters in 2016.
Trump campaign manager Manafort had his bail revoked today and is now in jail.
No sooner had that happened, when Trump appeared on the White House lawn. Hey! and just by coincidence, there was his propaganda network Fox News, at the ready for an interview. Manafort ‘had worked for me for a very short time’. On and on Trump babbled, spouting nonsense and lies, like only he can.
Manafort is in serious, serious, legal trouble (read: decades of jail time, for his well-documented crimes of conspiracy and money laundering). Trump cannot pardon him for state crimes (only federal ones). I cannot see how Manafort can continue to refuse to cooperate with the Russia investigation. It’s possible that he has nothing substantial to offer (as a witness against Trump). If that’s the case, his goose is cooked.
We had cool weather the last week or so. The high was 66°F/ 18 °C today, with a little bit of welcome rain here in the city. I see there is warm summer weather on the way for next week: low 90s/ 33 °C.
Wow. The Seattle City Council voted today to completely reverse the controversial ‘head tax’ that it had approved just on May 14. There had been considerable opposition to it, and a grassroots effort garnered enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. Word is that the City Council feared the head tax, as well as an education levy (already on the November ballot), would be overturned in November by the citizenry, so they cut their losses and voted to reverse the head tax.
The homelessness problem is very complicated. No question that housing is too expensive. (So – find money and build more public housing?). Yes, many corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes, by using complicated offshore tax avoidance strategies. But it’s not just about affordability, either. Many people are on the streets because they are mentally ill, or drug abusers, and the services available to them are too thin and underfunded.
So there they were, actually meeting – Kim and Trump. (A little jarring to see the American flags side by side with the North Korean flags).
I certainly don’t care for Trump’s thumbs-up enthusiasm .. but I’m sure the South Koreans & Japanese are way, way more nervous about the consequences of this meeting. Kim already won big by ‘legitimizing’ himself. What will the world get in return?
It’s Friday, and Trump is out of the country .. yay!
Our President-That-Alienates-Our-Allies suggested out of the blue, on the way to the G7 meeting, that Russia should be allowed back into the G7. (Haha. I think they will decline). Relations are so frayed, that the G7 may actually become the G6 – by throwing the United States out. (Hopefully not). Does Trump’s staff even tell him that? Does he even know that Russia was kicked out of the G8 in 2014 because Putin invaded Ukraine (and his army shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17)?
P.S. The indictments are piling up for Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. An additional indictment today lumps Manafort and suspected Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik together, charging them both with obstruction of justice. (Manafort made numerous phone calls to Kilimnik while out on bail, while already indicted for a long list of serious crimes). Manafort needs to take his toothbrush with when he goes to court next Friday. Word is that his bail is going to be revoked – that he is going to sit in jail to await the start of his trial in July.
It was ‘beers & a bite’ night for me and my compadres, at our usual Irish pub (The Chieftain) on 12th Avenue.
We usually try not to make the conversation all about politics and the Trump Administration Circus .. but it’s really hard not to!
Below is a still frame of a successful mountain rescue mission on Monday. Four hikers got in trouble high up on Mt Baker, and had to shelter in a cave on Sunday night.
The rescue helicopter only had a 30 minute window of clear weather conditions. Landing in the snow created tricky white-out conditions (churned- up snow powder), and the four hikers were the maximum load that could be accommodated by the helicopter.
Trump’s support of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August last year was a particularly low point (‘very fine people’).
But what is going on now at the border is even uglier. The New York Times: ‘United States authorities had separated several hundred children, including toddlers, from their parents or others claiming to be their family members, under a policy of criminally prosecuting undocumented people crossing the border’.
And so what does Trump do today? Does he own it? Does he defend it? Does he explain it? Of course not. He peddles FOUR BRAZEN LIES in a single short tweet.
My attachment to Café Francais goes back to the very first time I set foot in the United States in 1990. My older brother and I were visiting my younger brother in Palm Desert, California. He had some in his kitchen cabinet.
The stuff has been my favorite additive for hot milk, ever since. (Just one teaspoon).
I completely ran out of it last week, and horrors! it seemed to have disappeared, or was sold out, everywhere. But just tonight, I checked one more time here at the local Safeway (grocery store), and there it was, on the shelf.